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A constitutional Lawyer and Human Right Activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) on Thursday identified true federalism, brand new constitution as parts of solutions to the current agitations for the separation of Nigeria as an entity.
Ozekhome proffered these following the call for break up of the country by secessionists who are agitating for Biafra and Oduduwa Republic respectively.
The pro-democracy campaigner said that unless the country go back to true federalism it might be difficult for the country to live together in peace and harmony as one Nigeria
He spoke as a guest speaker at the Second Edition of Ladi Adebutu Good Governance Symposium held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, OOPL, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on the theme” Local Government Autonomy: A Panacea for National Development.
According to him for the country to stay together as an indivisible entity there was need for a referendum to and come to an agreed terms saying” it is a lie that Nigeria is indivisible”.
Ozekhome maintained that devolution of power, proper restructuring as well as brand new constitution should serve as leeway to attain a true federalism
He said until Nigeria practice true federalism the Local Government autonomy might not become a dream of reality and would affect the division of democracy at the grass root
Ozekhome, however, faulted the large number of members in National Assembly whom he said are draining the the wealth of the nation and should be made a part-time.
The lawyer noted that no amount of amendment of the constitution could solve the problem of the country unless section 4 of the constitution should be used to make law at the National Assembly
He said “It is a lie that Nigeria is indivisible we must come back to true federalism to remain as one. There is need for referendum to re-negotiate and come to an agreed terms”
“If we give it 1million amendment,it will not solve Nigeria problem,Section 4 of the constitution should be used to make a law at the National Assembly.
“360 House of Rep,109 Senators are too much we don’t need them,they are just draining the nation’s purse but sitting on part time should be encouraged for our National Assembly” he added
Adebutu said the theme of the symposium was well toothcombed by the speaker, saying that the basis of growth depend on the grassroot and if it failed everything in the country had failed
He added that both the federal and state government had killed the LG administration in the country for various reasons as its revenue had been hijacked by the states
He said” We need to go back to access the local things we have to development our nation. A collective responsibility at the grassroot,with the inclusion of traditional rulers
“All governments have killed LG system for various reasons but most importantly for the purpose of revenue hijacking. Allocations coming from FG are been hijacked by the state and making sure it does not get to the local level”.he hinted
The former member of the National Assembly, who insisted on the need for equity and justice in handling the affairs of the country, added that he believed in One Nigeria and not in seccession.
The Chairman of the occasion Prof. Ayo Olukotun in his Opening Remark called on all Nigerian political leaders to always engaged in resourceful discourse that would enhance development at all the three tiers of government, especially at the local government level
The chairman of the Ladi Adebutu Good Governance Symposium, Architect Kayode Adebayo, speaking earlier on the purpose of the syposium, said the need to talk about ourselves, and for most elites not to detach themselves from the grassroots politics and go back to the local government and enhance it from bottom- up formed the bases for holding the syposium.
At the symposium,Hon. Ladi Adebutu was decorated with award of distinguished Performance and Special fellow of the Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public administration of Nigeria.